- womb – the organ in the body of a woman or other female mammal in which a baby develops before birth:
Researchers are looking at how a mother’s health can affect the baby in the womb.
- prevalent – adj. common or widespread
These diseases are more prevalent among young children.
Trees are dying in areas where acid rain is most prevalent.
- repellent – n. serving or tending to drive away or ward off – often used in combination (a mosquito repellent spray)
- sanction – an official order, such as the stopping of trade, that is taken against a country in order to make it obey international law:
The U.S. is reportedly a supporter of stronger international sanctions.
Many nations have imposed sanctions on the country because of its attacks on its own people.
Trade/economic sanctions will only be lifted (= stopped) when the aggressor nation withdraws its troops.
- Dispute – an argument or disagreement, especially an official one between, for example, workers and employers or two countrieswith a common border:
Wang and Kerry also discussed territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
a bitter/long-running disputea border disputea pay/legal/trade dispute.
They have been unable to settle/resolve the dispute over workingconditions.The unions are in dispute with management over pay.
- politburo – the main government group in a Communist country, which makes all the important decisions
The 71-year-old Trong pushed back a challenge to a seat on the 19-member ruling politburo from PrimeMinister Nguyen Tan Dung.
- violation – an action that breaks or acts against something, especially a law, agreement, principle, or something that should be treatedwith respect:
He claimed that the way he’d been treated was a gross violation ofhis civil/constitutional/human rights.The takeover of the embassy constitutes a flagrant/blatant violation of international law.It was clear that they had not acted in violation of the rules.
- beam –
Find out what it it; then stay right on the beam.
- startling – surprising and sometimes worrying:
Do something startling, surprising.
startling resultsHe made some startling admissions about his past.
- jag – a short period when someone behaves in a particular way and finds it difficult to stop:
I was having an emotional jag.
a crying/sneezing/coughing jag
- futile – (of actions) having no effect or achieving nothing:
How utterly futile and ridiculous that trip would have been,” I said to myself.
Attempts to get supplies to the region are futile because troops will not allow the aid convoy to enter the city.It‘s completely futile trying to reason with him – he just won’t listen.All my attempts to cheer her up proved futile.
- fatal -very serious and having an important bad effect in the future:
I felt as though it would be fatal to be persistent.
He made the fatal mistake/error of believing what they told him.It just shows how you should never say how well things are going for you – it’s fatal (= it causes bad things to happen).
- perpetuation –
Two weeks later, I presented a plan to him and his two associates for the perpetuation and protection of their business.
- abrupt – sudden and unexpected, and often unpleasant:
When another asserted something that I thought in error, I deny’d myself the pleasure of contracting him abruptly, and of showing immediately some absurdity in his propositions.
n abrupt change/movementOur conversation came to an abrupt end when George burst into the room.The road ended in an abrupt (= sudden and very steep) slope down to the sea.
- assert – to behave in a way that expresses your confidence, importance, or power and earns you respect from others:
I really must assert myself more in meetings.
- mortification – a feeling of being very embarrassed:
I had less mortification when I was found to be in wrong and I more easily prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right.
To the mortification of the show’s organizers, the top performerwithdrew at the last minute.
- pantomime – the art or act of expressing thoughts and emotions with movement rather than speech; mime
The master of ceremonies went back and finally made the Swede understand by pantomime that they wanted him to go up and hit the strong man.
- jury – a group of people who have been chosen to listen to all the facts in a trial in a law court and to decide if a person is guiltyor not guilty, or if a claim has been proved:
members of the juryThe jury has/have been unable to return a verdict (= reach a decision).Police officers aren’t usually allowed to be/sit/serve on a jury.
- stag –
Recently, I went down to Skyland, Virginia, on a stag party with a group of friends.
- cot- a light bed that can be folded so that it can be easily carried and stored
We all slept on cots at night in a large, one-room cabin.
- shrewdest – adj. having or based on a clear understanding and good judgment of a situation, resulting in an advantage:
The late J.Pierpont Morgan, Sr., one of the shrewdest business men in all history, once said: …
[+ to infinitive] He was shrewd enough not to take the job when there was the possibility of getting a better one a few months later.She is a shrewd politician who wants to avoid offending the electorate unnecessarily.It was a shrewd move to buy your house just before property pricesstarted to rise.
- usher – to show someone where they should go, or to make someone go where you want them to go:
When I arrived at the mill and was ushered into his office, I noticed that he didn’t seem quite so pleasant as usual.
She ushered us into her office and offered us coffee.Officials quickly ushered the protesters out of the hall.
- scowl – to look at someone or something with a very annoyedexpression:
The boy scowled at her and reluctantly followed her back into school.
- courtesy – polite behaviour, or a polite action or remark:
I find people regard it as a courtesy.
He began squirming nervously in his chair.
You might get along better with your parents if you showed them some courtesy.
[+ to infinitive] He could at least have had the courtesy to say sorry.The president welcomed her visitors with the usual courtesies.
- squirming – to move from side to side in an awkward way because of nervousness, embarrassment, or pain:
Nobody spoke for at least five minutes and Rachel squirmed in her chair with embarrassment.The fish squirmed on the ground for a few moments and then lay still.
- expectant – thinking that something pleasant or exciting is going to happen:
We looked at each other in an expectant manner.
the children’s expectant faces
- outwitted – to get an advantage over someone by acting more cleverly and often by using a trick:
We all hate to be outsmarted, outwitted, interrupted, or cut off before we finish, by some flannelmouth who knows what we are going to say before we say it.
In the story, the cunning fox outwits the hunters.
- gear –
He throws his mouth into high gear before his brain is turning over, explains to you where and why you are mistaken, and straightens you out before you can make yourself clear.
- cocksure – too confident, in a way that is slightly unpleasant or rude:
As a young man, Benjamin Franklin was cocksure and wanted to do most of the talking, telling people where they were wrong until they crossed on the other side of the street to avoid him.
a cocksure young man
- languish – to exist in an unpleasant or unwanted situation, often for a longtime:
After languishing in obscurity for many years, her early novels have recently been rediscovered.He has been languishing in jail for the past 20 years.The ruling party is languishing in third place in the opinion polls.